Friday, June 26, 2015

A few thoughts on the week in politics

There's not much that's genuinely interesting in the über-partisan landscape of America these days, but occasionally a few items do pop up that grab my attention:

1) The Supreme Court upholds Obamacare -- It's been kind of fascinating to watch purported conservatives lose their mind for the last 24 hours because the Supreme Court upheld clear legislative intent over judicial activism. The mental pirouettes are astonishing. I suppose this is mostly just more evidence that "liberal" and "conservative" no longer have meaning inside the Beltway. But even so, this one's been pretty spectacular.

     1.a.) The phrase "Pure Applesauce" from Scalia's dissent would make a great name for a band.

2) The Confederate Battle Flag -- Well, yeah, it's a clear symbol of racism, oppression, and armed insurrection that never should've been permitted anywhere near a government building. So if the governments of the South want to finally pull it back down 50 years after running it up the pole to indicate their unswerving desire for "whites only" water fountains, that's all good.

But my liberal amigos shouldn't overreach here. Keeping it in stock and readily available in pin, patch, bumper sticker, and flag form at the local Wal-Mart has a clear purpose. It lets ignorant bigots identify themselves as such, which is a handy time saver for the rest of us. I appreciate the advance warning.

3) Trump for President -- When I asked God not to let Donald Trump buy the Buffalo Bills I didn't really think to add the note, "And please tell him it's not a good idea for him to run for President, either."

Alas, here we are.

He does make a glorious standard bearer for the values of the modern GOP, but really this isn't good for anybody in politics. In a complex and dangerous era we could use genuine political thought and analysis, but instead we are awash in a Twitterverse reality show for the cable TV networks. Come to think of it, Donald Trump isn't just a glorious standard bearer for the modern GOP, he's a glorious standard bearer for the sham that passes for national politics these days.


And yet ... it's a beautiful June day outside, and Katie the Beagle wants to chase rabbits. Despite all of the above -- or perhaps because of it -- that seems more relevant to me than the passing show these days.

P.S. After posting my little rant I heard that the Supreme Court also legalized gay marriage this morning. We can now just call the legal institution "marriage." Really, a genuinely meaningful week in politics: a nice change from the usual fare.

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